In the minds of most travelers, Napa Valley is home to massive vineyards, winery tours and elite restaurants specializing in pairing locally sourced cuisine with the right wine. But, one of the region’s most intriguing dining spots stays away from the whole wine scene — unless you’re looking for Saki.
Located in downtown in Napa about 20 miles outside the elite resorts and wineries filling Yountville and St. Helena, Miminashi offers a varied and ever-evolving menu of fresh Japanese faire. While its menu would make the joint unique on its own, the casual Miminashi atmosphere offers a chance for the traveler to kick back away from the more formal, uptight attitude of elite Napa spots.
The genetics of this wine country izakaya standout as much as its menu selections amidst Napa’s traditional gourmet banquet spots. Miminashi was founded by Curtis de Fede, known throughout the Napa Valley as an expert Italian chef and the former owner of the region’s Oenotri Restaurant. Seeking a change and a challenge, de Fede headed to Japan and studied its food and culture before returning to Napa to create Miminashi.
The chef assembled an extraordinary that covers so many aspects of Japanese cooking, from Sashimi to Taiyaki, Ramen to Robatayaki. The delicate grilled flavors of the latter are a highlight at the table, allowing the diner to explore the Japanese art of cooking fowl. You’re not likely to try better grilled knee bone cartilage anywhere in America.
For dessert, Mimimashi offers one more surprise. While most American diners are aware of the familiar Japanese food traditions of sushi, teriyaki, ramen, etc. But, the Land of the Rising Sun specializes in the best soft-serve ice cream this side of Midwestern frozen custard. Offering unique flavors such as sweet potato and toasted rice.
Miminashi is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.